Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) can be defined as the commitment by business to behave ethically while contributing to economic development, and also striving to improve the quality of life of the community in which it operates and society at large.
The company’s Founders and Directors firmly believe in promoting a just & fair corporate and social environment. Being a socially responsible corporate and also contributing to the underprivileged sections of society, are the cornerstones of the company’s CSR philosophy.
The company can undertake or support any of the activities listed in Schedule VII under Sec. 135 of the Companies Act, 2013 and amendments thereof. However, the focus can be mainly for the following causes:
The importance of education cannot be underestimated in improving the overall economic and social scenario in any society. Especially in a developing country like India, the importance of providing affordable education and vocational skills cannot be overstated.
The Government does it’s bit for providing education to all, but in the Indian context with large outlay required for Education budget, the private sector can play a major role in improving the education milieu by contributing to improvements in education outcomes.
In recent decades, India has made significant progress on access to schooling and enrollment rates in primary education but high dropout rates and low levels of learning/retention, remain challenges for the state and central government.
A high percentage of children drop out before completing five years of primary school, and an even higher percent before finishing upper primary school. Lack of teachers also remains a major stumbling block in improving learning outcomes.
Hence, the company will support Schools which strive for improvement in the education standard for the children and / or Institutions which provide employment enhancing vocational skills to the youth.
Muktangan Education Trust : Their goal is to enable access of quality education to learners, through a partnership with the local government or Municipal Corporation. They have partnered with the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai to adopt some of their Schools and then provide them with high quality pedagogy inputs, to improve student learning outcomes. Over the years, they have developed & delivered a very successful model of training women from the surrounding communities with the skills required to become a Teacher. They provide constant coaching & training to them, such that they remain highly motivated and encourage each child to enjoy the learning process. Our company will be one of the major sponsors for the Prabhadevi Municipal School in Mumbai. This School has over 500 students from Junior KG up to the final year 10th standard. An amount of Rs. 100 Lakhs is to be allocated for this for the academic year 2023-24.
Masoom : Often youth drop out of School for various reasons, especially to support families financially. To enable such students to enrol themselves to complete schooling without giving up their jobs, a ‘Nightschool’ concept is very useful. The NGO, Masoom, strives to enrol students for these Evening Learning Centres in their area and then supports these schools with study material, pedagogical support to the Teachers & School Management Committees. It also strives to support students for extra-courses to enhance computer literacy or other livelihood enabling skills. The students who complete their education can cope better with their jobs than those who quit their education. Being a sound initiative, our company will support the Evening Learning Centres supported by Massom in 3 Schools in Ahmedabad, with a total outlay of Rs. 18 lakhs for the academic year 2023-24.
Trust for Retailers & Retail Associates of India (TRRAIN) : This Trust is founded by one the important figures in the Retail sector in India. He had a vision to create opportunities for the physically differently abled persons (mainly Deaf & Mute and some with orthopedic challenges), in the Retail space. This sector needs a lot of young people every year in the front offices, as Cashiers or Store Counters or even as Store managers etc. They invite applications from such persons with disabilities and a minimal school passed out qualification. They screen the applications and then provide them a 4 to 6 week, full time Vocational Training specific to the Retail sector. They have tie ups with a lot of large Retailers. This enables them to get a good placement percentage for their students. As Vocational Training is essential for livelihoods, the company will sponsor such training batches, under their ‘Pankh’ program, at some of their Centres in Mumbai and Ahmedabad. At approx. Rs. 4 -5 Lakhs per batch for the training, a sum of approx. Rs. 20 Lakhs to be allocated to them for sponsoring 4 batches of approx. 25 students each. Hence, a total of around 100 students would be trained in these batches.
As part of the commitment of the company to provide opportunities to Persons with Disabilities (PwDs), we have been offering such candidates opportunities to join as ‘Apprentices’ at our Factory and then based on their performance, they can look forward to a career with the company. Such opportunities can be life-changing for such PwDs, as otherwise they would be without employment and a feeling of being a burden upon their families.
Another program that this NGO has been managing for the last few years has been the ‘TRRAINHer Ascent’ program, to empower young women. Some young women who would like to join the workforce after completing their high School are provided with Retail sector specific skills, life-skills and basic English communication skills, to become employable at either Retail stores / malls or even other commercial establishments. This is a good initiative towards gender parity in employment options, for basic entry level job opportunities. They typically provide training to batches of approx. 20 - 25 students. The company will sponsor the training of up to 200 young women candidates, with a budget outlay of Rs. 25 Lakhs.
Hence, the total budget for both their programs – Pankh & TRRAINHer Ascent will be approx. Rs. 45 Lakhs for the year.
The company also encourages Volunteering with their candidates and some of the life-skills etc. which can be honed by our company’s staff , are appropriately conducted through online or offline volunteering sessions.
Healthcare is one of the basic essentials to reduce suffering in human life and thereby improve the quality of living. A caring society focuses on the provision or access to adequate and timely medical care.
In a vast developing country like India, with a population exceeding 1.4 billion, majority of who live in the rural hinterland, access to even basic healthcare is a luxury not easily within reach. Only a bare minimum number doctors are willing to serve in the rural areas - where almost 60% of the population lives. Even in urban areas, quality medical care is becoming unaffordable and out of reach to a vast majority of the population.
The private healthcare sector is responsible for the majority of healthcare in India. Most healthcare expenses are paid out-of-pocket by patients and their families, rather than through insurance. This has led many households to incur ‘Catastrophic Health Expenditure’, which can be defined as health expenditure that threatens a household's capacity to maintain a basic standard of living. Ailments like Cancer, which require long term treatment, can be especially catastrophic on poor or low income families.
TMC - ACTREC : Public Hospitals like Tata Memorial Hospital which provide the full range of specialized care, up to tertiary level and that too at affordable or subsidized basis for the poor, are a big hub for Cancer treatment for patients from all over India. With lot of pressure on their existing facilities, they are now expanding their infrastructure at their Navi Mumbai campus. Their existing residential block for patients’ relatives needed to be renovated into a new OPD Block at the Kharghar site of TMC – ACTREC (Tata Memorial Centre – Advanced Centre for Treatment, Research & Education in Cancer). The company committed for the renovation, which commenced in the previous year and was completed during the current year. This new OPD Block i.e. Ground + 3 Floors, is expected to cater to a peak load of 1,500 to 2,000 patients on a daily basis. The balance committed amount of Rs. 50 Lakhs has also been paid during the current year.
Shri Jalaram Aarogya Seva Trust : This Charitable Trust has been serving the underserved population in the remote Meghraj taluka of the Aravalli district on the border of Gujarat & Rajasthan. A group of dedicated Doctors has been managing to deliver services such as Gynecology, Orthopedics, Infant care, Diagnostics, Dental care and basic Cancer care for over 20 years now. With increased patient needs and a desire to provide the latest infrastructure for these services, a new Hospital Building is envisaged. Construction on the almost 200,000 sq. ft. building has already commenced and they have approached our company also, for supporting their cause to provide good-quality medical services in this remote area. The poor people can avail Government medical schemes for their benefit, as the Hospital is registered under the government program for the vulnerable and deserving sections. As the new Hospital can provide improved medical care in this rural area, the company will provide a contribution of Rs. 151 Lakhs towards this endeavor.
Note : The company has been contributing much more than the required funds under the CSR guidelines, over the past few years. It can, therefore carry forward the extra amounts and adjust the overspent, if required. Hence, the above budget is flexible and can be spent according to the need arising from the causes needing support.